Established in 2001 Sri Sri Rural Development Program Trust (SSRDP) operates with the single-minded focus of empowering Rural India. We aim at bringing together the best global practices, corporate thinking and accountability, the highest standards of corporate governance and transparency to create a model of sustainable development, which is a benchmark in the industry and can be replicated at scale.
In SSRDP, we believe every person deserves to lead a more secure, prosperous, and dignified life. With that vision in mind, our mission is to strengthen community-led development initiatives to achieve positive social, economic, entrepreneurship and environmental change across Rural and Urban Regions in India.
With support from donors, volunteers and partners, we empower the economically challenged, through best practices, environmentally sustainable technology and human values. As India’s backbone has always been her villages, and we cannot rise to our true potential without a fundamental transformation in the lives of people in Rural India. At SSRDP we believe that the partnership of rural India with corporates, young urban India, the Government and other foundations is the key to create a permanent and irreversible change for good.
To create a permanent and long-lasting change among lives of 1 million people in rural India in next 5 years.
The 5H program aims at ensuring that every rural area/village has Homes for the homeless, Health care, Hygiene, Human Values and Harmony in diversity. The 5H catalyses social transformation that aims to eradicate poverty, misery, disease and ensure peace and harmony in rural and tribal areas worldwide. The youth from the local community undergo the Youth Leadership Training Program (YLTP). This gives them the skills, motivation and abilities to initiate and lead service projects in their villages and localities based on their needs. Only a strong spiritual foundation brings self-esteem and self – confidence that is unshakable. It is this combination of spirituality, and skills and leadership training that ensures the long-term effectiveness and sustainability of this program. The individuals and communities at the grassroots become self-reliant both socially and economically. Further, the effects are long-term and sustainable.
INTEGRATED COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT APPROACH
Our Integrated Development Approach holistically empowers the community with equal emphasis on all the 6 pillars of development: Education, Agriculture, Health, Promoting Human Values, Infrastructure Development to promote rural entrepreneurs and women empowerment.
R M Dhawan
Mr. Dhawan is a MA, LLB, Retired Govt Officer. He joined the Art of Living in 2005. He was the Chairman of Vykati Vikas Kendra India from 2006 to 2009 and has been the trustee of SSRDP since 2009.
Mr. Dhawan has been our guide and mentor, who continues to push the initiative on use of bio-enzyme, manufactured by SSRDP, blessed by Gurudev as Jag Pavani. This enhances the yield in agriculture at minimal cost, removes foul smell and harmful chemicals in water bodies, garbage-dumps and STPs. All waste management projects are under his domain.
Air Cmde Rabindra Merani
Air Cmde Merani been a trustee since 2017 and is the current chairman of the board of SSRDP. He is an AOL teacher and has been with AOL since 2002.
An alumini of the National Defence Academy, he retired as an Air Commodore from the Indian Air Force, fighter aircraft stream.
He worked in the corporate world for 6 years after retirement, in the civil aviation sector.
As Chairman and the resident trustee at Bangalore Ashram, he maintains liaison with sister trusts and oversees finance, administration and personnel of the trust. He receives regular feedback from the CEO on all on-going projects of SSRDP. He is the link between our rural initiatives and VVKI and SSIAST to ensure farmers are happy and getting richer. He has worked closely with Mr. Ravi Bhushan on the Farmers Produce Marketing Project, in light of the new legislation, which aims to boost the incomes of Producer Companies and FPOs in favour of farmers, instead of middlemen, as has been the case until now.
Mr. Deepak has been part of the Art of Living since 2004 as a full-time Sevak. He oversees the pan-India skill centres, our relationship with NSDC, Schneider, CSR and the Solar projects, including the North East states.
Along with these activities, he is also in-charge of initiatives in natural buildings, pottery, projects related to tribals and artisans.
Mr. Ravi has been conceptualizing and spearheading projects for alleviating farmer distress.
This includes federating Farmer Producer Companies and creating FPOs, for value addition to farm produce and taking maximum advantage of the recent ground breaking amendments to the Essential Commodities Act, APMC and Contract Farming rules, with a view to ensure that rural folk are better able to earn a livelihood and are not flocking to urban slums, to earn a living. With his experience as an advisor at NRLM and in contract farming, he guides SSRDP in setting up a structure that would be self-sustaining and self-funded.
Mr. Vijay has the responsibility of linking YLTP/RHP/HP with all SSRDP project initiatives that involve people, be it rural training or skill training. He identifies honorary sevaks for appointment, for being in-charge at District and Taluk level. He vigorously expands the scope of the World Bank funded project on climate resilient agriculture. Mr. Vijay also guides and influences Sarpanch federations towards the betterment of farmer incomes and quality of life, through collective farming and appropriate marketing practices.
Mrs. Merani has been looking after the Human Resources department in the SSRDP since the past 5 years. B Tech by education, she started her career with BHEL and had been in the teaching profession for almost 20 years. Her last assignment was as Professor at an Engineering College in Bangalore. At the age of 66 she continues to work along with being a home maker and an Art of Living teacher. She along with her family have been associated with the Art of Living since the past 19 years.